Hot Housing Market Creates Opportunities and Challenges

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens hosted a roundtable of local real estate and housing experts to discuss the dramatic changes in value and availability within Windsor’s real estate market.

Mayor Dilkens was joined by Tim Hudak, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Real Estate Association, Damon Winney, President of the Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors, and Vince Lapico, President of the Windsor Essex Home Builders' Association. Windsor’s City Planner Thom Hunt, and Manager of Permit Services & Deputy Chief Building Official Joe Baker also provided insight into current housing, construction, and investment trends.

  • The average home price in Windsor-Essex has risen 25% from February of 2020.

  • Each month since July 2020, the total number of houses sold has been outpacing the same month the previous year.

  • March 2021 saw an 11% increase in new listings from 2020.

  • New builds grew from 360 (2018) to 774 (2019), and 796 (2020), according to building permit statistics.

  • In the first quarter of 2021, 108 permits were new apartment unit builds – a significant level not seen in Windsor for decades.

  • The total value of construction in the City during 2020 was $392,000,000 with 2021 expected to preform even better.

  • The value of residential construction is up more than $1,000,000 in the first quarter of 2021 vs 2020.

The City of Windsor issues over 3,000 permits annually for a variety of construction projects. Roughly 87% are for residential housing, 8% for commercial developments, 3% for government and institutional developments and the remaining 2% for industrial development. Over the past year, the City has issued 60 permits for new residential construction within the Zone 1 area (north of Tecumseh Road between Prince Road and Pillette Road), considered an older part of the City which would benefit from residential intensification.

Quotes:

This level of growth, attraction, interest, and investment in the City of Windsor is a phenomenon that is positioning us for fantastic opportunities to build back better. Thriving cities attract top talent and investment. Population growth means additional resources for further city investment in infrastructure, culture, and large-scale initiatives like districting, new amenities, and improvement plans. At the same time, we need to be concerned that the rapid escalation of prices can make home ownership unaffordable for some Windsorites. There are public policy challenges that all orders of Government will need to address in the months ahead.” – Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens

“Windsor is a great place to raise a family - locals love the climate, the countryside, and its proximity to the border. Combine that with the growing desire for more space and the opportunities provided by work-from-home policies, and it means an increased interest in cities like Windsor. To meet this demand, we need more inventory in the marketplace, which is why OREA has called on government to help Ontario’s families find an affordable place to call home, through growth-friendly policies such as the creation of opportunity zones and the expansion of broadband internet and natural gas across Ontario.” –OREA CEO Tim Hudak

“Windsor’s real estate market is strong and the demand is there, all thanks to greater interest in bigger spaces and more outdoor areas, as well as more remote work opportunities. To keep up with this, the Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS® would like to see more housing supply enter the market. This will allow first-time home buyers to finally get into the market, allow for move-up buyers to upgrade their homes, and give downsizers more choices in the place they grew up in.” – Windsor-Essex County Association of Realtors President Damon Winney

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